"Constitutionalism" As Slogans

Daniel Larison shows how Christine O'Donnell's ignorance of the Constitution renders her unable to make even the arguments that would advance the cause of her supporters:

The real shame is that O’Donnell could have had a valid point on the question of church-state separation, but she didn’t begin to know how to make it.

As an activist and talking head, she has learned slogans about the separation of church and state, but evidently she has not learned anything more than that. The establishment clause has been wildly and mistakenly misinterpreted so that a restriction created solely to prevent the federal government from imposing a religion on the states has been turned into a general imperative for all levels of government. This is not what critics of the Constitution wanted when they argued for a guarantee that the federal government would not establish a religion, but more important it is an unnecessary and obnoxious restriction of the free exercise of religion. Of course, one has to know that the establishment clause exists and know what it says before one can criticize its misinterpretation.

Delaware Republicans got the candidate they deserve in this election.